A breakthrough took place in Egypt's gasoline crisis and it will be solved by Wednesday at the latest, Petroleum Minister Abdallah Ghorab, said in a press conference on Tuesday.
Ghorab indicated that an extra three million litres of fuel are being injected into the market in order to contain the crisis that started last Sunday.
The minister indicated that fuel crises recur and that they usually get solved quickly. He added that such crises are the outcome of the spread of rumours about fuel shortages which lead to people panic-buying and hoarding fuel.
Egypt has been hit with a crisis in gasoline whereby all types of octane – 80, 90, 92 and the more expensive 95 – have been in short supply, resulting in long queues outside petrol stations in many parts of the country. Some gas stations have resorted to setting a 20-litre limit on all gasoline purchases.
Ghorab said that rumours that spread through electronic social media about the government's intention to raise the price of gasoline sparked the consumer panic.
An International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation is currently in negotiation with the government about a possible facility to the country. The rumours, according to Ghorab, included speculation that one of the conditions of the IMF would be the removal of gasoline subsidies and therefore a hike in gasoline prices.
Ghorab said that despite the falsehood of these rumours, some gas station owners had raised prices and sold gasoline on the black market.
He added that the ministry of interior was able to locate 400,000 litres of smuggled gasoline, 10,000 in Alexandria alone.
The minister called on citizens not to believe the rumours and hoard fuel.